In this study which follows other works on the convergences and divergences between 20th century Thomists, we wanted to offer the readers of Espíritu a brief structural comparison between the theoretical philosophy of Jacques Maritain and that of Cornelio Fabro. Our purpose is articulated in two stages: 1. the critique of the Cartesian cogito and its later vicissitude; 2. the metaphysical analysis of the being. In this last respect, we explain how the two philosophers oppose each other, first as regards the ontological and noetic status of the “ens primum cognitum”, then as regards the principles – act of being and essence – in which they resolve themselves “being qua being”.
Finite ens, in the metaphysics of Thomas Aquinas, is characterized by two immanent compositions: that of the act of being with the essence and that of the substance and its accidents, which are ordered or “finalized” to operation. Subsequently, the transcendent foundation of ens shows that esse, essence and operation manifest respectively the efficient, exemplary and final causal action of God the Creator on his creatures. This investigation seeks to explain why and how the act of being that is received by the essence necessarily requires operation as its ultimate expansion. The result is that the participation of created ens in Esse per essentiam is ultimately operative, and not merely static, and is properly expressed by means of the triad esse, essentia, operatio, where the last word means the tendency to act
The analysis of the being and the ontological constituency of the person in the twentieth century Thomism
The present study analyzes the three great interptretations of Thomistic doctrine on the ontological constituency of the person, developed by Thomists from the 20th century on. For the followers of the gaetanistic tradition, like Martain, the person is formally based on the mode of subsistence, that constitutes the spiritual nature in subjectivity. For the followers of the transcendental Thomism, like Lotz, the personal being is primarily founded on the reditio completa of the created spirit. For the masters of the intentive Thomism, like Fabro or Forment, the person results fundamentally from the possession of an act of participated being owened by an essence that transcends matter. In conclusion, first we propose a structualy judgement on these three positions, secondly a judgement of veritability